A few years ago, while discussing Michael Bublé's outstanding Christmas EP I wrote, "When I first heard this CD I was stunned. Nobody sings like the old time big band vocalists anymore and therefore saying Bublé is the best 1940s band singer since Sinatra may seem like faint praise. However, one listen and you know Frank would have been impressed." I still believe every word.
Crazy Love is Bublé's latest full length CD and it may be the most diverse disc of his career. As always he offers us a bunch of old standards including "All Of Me," Georgia On My Mind," "You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You," "All I Do Is Dream Of You," and "Cry Me A River." The acapella group, Naturally 7, accompany him on Hoagy Carmichael's ancient "Stardust."
Of course, being younger, Bublé is simply not just your parents' crooner. His choice of collaborators and more modern material mixed in with the older classics are the proof. "Baby (You Got What It Takes)" is performed with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, "Whatever It Takes" is a duet with the song's composer, fellow Canadian, Ron Sexsmith. More recent standards that your Mother or Grandmother wouldn't know because they aren't from the days when Bing, Frank, Dean, and Sammy ruled the roost include Van Morrison's "Crazy Love," Billy Vera's "At This Moment," and The Eagles' "Heartache Tonight." The latter doesn't really lend itself to being transported out of a rock setting but Bublé nails it as best he can.
Bublé co-wrote two new songs for this album, "Hold On," and the bubbly single, "Haven't Met You Yet." Both fit in very well.
Everything on Crazy Love shows that lounge singers, or crooners, or whatever you want to call them, can elevate their often derided and stereotyped genre to wonderful heights with the right mix of songs, collaborators, and vocal talent.
Having grown up on my Mother's 78 RPM records I've been a sucker for jazz singers and big bands all of my life. I wish there were more vocalists like the classy Bublé working today. There are a few who come to mind, mostly women, (Diana Krall, Madeleine Peyroux, and Jane Monheit) but nobody represents the style as well he does.